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JUST IN: Sean Dyche replaces Frank Lampard as Everton manager

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JUST IN: Sean Dyche replaces Frank Lampard as Everton manager

Everton have appointed Sean Dyche as their new manager following Frank Lampard’s departure, the club announced on Monday.

Lampard was sacked last week after a run of 10 games without a win left Everton 19th on the Premier League table, two points from safety.

Dyche has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract until June 2025 at Goodison Park and is tasked with steering Everton away from the relegation zone.

“It’s an honour to become Everton manager. My staff and I are ready and eager to help get this great club back on track,” Dyche said.

“I know about Everton’s passionate fanbase and how precious this club is to them. We’re ready to work and ready to give them what they want. That starts with sweat on the shirt, effort and getting back to some of the basic principles of what Everton Football Club has stood for a long time.

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S’African judge in Zuma graft trial recuses self

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S’African judge in Zuma graft trial recuses self
A South African judge presiding over Jacob Zuma’s arms corruption trial recused himself on Monday in the latest twist in the years-long case.

Judge Piet Koen last year dismissed Zuma’s bid to force out the prosecutor, Billy Downer, whom he accused of leaking confidential medical documents to the media.

In December the Constitutional Court backed Koen’s decision, concluding that Zuma’s application to remove Downer had no reasonable prospects of success.

The decision by the top court cleared one of the last legal hurdles for the long-running trial to get underway.

The situation has been further complicated, however, by a bid by Zuma to force Downer out through a private prosecution.

On Monday Koen said he had decided “to recuse myself from the trial” to avoid any risk of compromising the perception of justice.

His rejection of Zuma’s bid to oust Downer could have been held against him in the future, “when the issue of whether Mr Zuma has received a constitutionally fair trial will arise for determination,” Koen said.

Stepping aside “is what the sound administration of justice, the requirements of the constitution and my conscience dictates,” Koen told the court in Pietermaritzburg.

“The integrity of the judicial process must be protected against any reasonable taint of suspicion so that the public and litigants may have the highest confidence in the integrity and fairness of our courts,” he said.

Zuma faces 16 counts of fraud, graft and racketeering over the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment while he was vice president in the late 1990s.

The embattled former head of state’s long-awaited trial ran into a string of legal delays after starting in May 2021.

In between his defence team secured a postponement on health grounds.

Zuma, 80, was president from 2009 until 2018, when the ruling African National Congress (ANC) forced him out as graft scandals besetting his government brewed into a political storm.

In July 2021, he was given a 15-month jail term for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a panel probing financial sleaze and cronyism under his presidency.

That case is separate from the arms scandal, in which he allegedly took bribes from French defence giant Thales, which has also been charged with corruption and money laundering.

Both Thales and Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

AFP

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Johnson’s claim about Putin missile threat lie —Kremlin

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Johnson’s claim about Putin missile threat lie —Kremlin


30th January 2023

Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin

Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin on Monday dismissed as a “lie” accusations from former British prime minister Boris Johnson that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally threatened him with a missile attack.

“What Mr Johnson said is not true. More precisely it’s a lie,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Moreover, this is either a conscious lie — then you need to ask Mr Johnson for what purpose he chose this version of events — Or it was unintentional and in fact he didn’t understand what President Putin was talking to him about.”

The apparent threat came in a telephone call just before Moscow ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022, according to a new BBC documentary to be broadcast on Monday.

“I know what was discussed during this conversation… There were no missile threats,” Peskov said.

AFP

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Election: Southern Kaduna Christians, Muslims sign peace pact

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Election: Southern Kaduna Christians, Muslims sign peace pact

The Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association says it has signed a pact with the Council of Imams and Ulama to promote peace in the region ahead of the 2023 general election.

According to a statement signed on Monday by the Chairman, Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders, Apostle Emmanuel Kure, and Chief Imam Dr. Muhammad Kassim, the pact was agreed to encourage Muslims and Christians in the region to shun violence, embrace dialogue and remain committed to the pact before, during and after the 2023 general election.

The two organisations explained that the religious leaders signed the Memorandum of Understanding as a mark of their commitment towards sustaining peaceful coexistence for the progress of the area.

“Stakeholders of both Christians and Muslims are committed to the promotion of peaceful co-existence among communities in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State, and Nigeria.

“The two religious groups with their members have collectively and individually agreed to ensure that the 2023 general election is violence-free, noting that even if crisis erupts in other places, they’ll jointly ensure that it does not consume the region and their members are not involved.

“This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), therefore, articulates the participants shared objectives in support of a crisis-free 2023 in the general election in Southern Kaduna, and their respective undertakings.

“Anyone who attempts to aid outsiders to create or start a crisis, we will jointly release our members to protect the land from both external and internal troubles before, during and after the 2023 general election,” the group stated.

Adding, “The MOU was also to establish a basis for ongoing dialogue and cooperation between the participants, so that future interventions and areas of mutual interest may be brought under this framework.”

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JUST IN: Man City’s Cancelo in shock move to Bayern

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JUST IN: Man City’s Cancelo in shock move to Bayern

Manchester City’s full back Joao Cancelo is set to make a shocking move to Bayern Munich on a loan deal till the end of the season with an option to buy.

Cancelo, 28, is expected to conclude medicals in the next 24-hours before the end of the January transfer window.

The surprising move comes as Cancelo has had difficult weeks at Manchester City this season with limited playing time especially after returning from the World Cup.

The deal, which also includes an option to buy the full-back at £61.5m (€70m) has been agreed.

Cancelo’s representatives are understood to have brought the interest from Bayern to City and, given the emergence of Rico Lewis and the performances of Nathan Ake at full-back, City have been willing to allow Cancelo to move.

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Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet resigns from Dicastery for Bishops

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Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet resigns from Dicastery for Bishops

Ouellet’s departure comes a week after he denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by a second woman.

Pope Francis (left) talks to Cardinal Marc Ouellet at the Vatican Feb. 17, 2022.
Pope Francis (left) talks to Cardinal Marc Ouellet at the Vatican Feb. 17, 2022. Photo by REMO CASILLI /REUTERS

Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet has submitted his resignation as prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops and his resignation has been accepted by Pope Francis.

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Ouellet was one of the few prefects Pope Francis retained from the papacy of Benedict XVI in what was perceived as a sign of confidence.

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At 78, Ouellet was three years over the age of retirement for bishops. His departure had been rumoured for months.

Ouellet has been involved in allegations of misconduct while Archbishop of Quebec, allegations he has firmly denied. After the Vatican last year ruled the affair to be without sufficient grounds, Ouellet sued his accuser for defamation.

A week ago, Ouellet denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by a second woman.

On Monday, the Vatican named American Bishop Robert Francis Prevost to succeed Ouellet at the Dicastery for Bishops.

Like Ouellet, Prevost, 67, oversaw the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. 

Ouellet was born in the village of La Motte near Amos in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. He was ordained in 1968 and named Archbishop of Quebec in 2002.

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6-year-old dies after injury at Val-St-Côme ski centre

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6-year-old dies after injury at Val-St-Côme ski centre

The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Sunday while the girl was using a T-bar to ascend the hill.

An ambulance enters a Montreal emergency department.
An ambulance enters a Montreal emergency department. Photo by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

A young girl died on Sunday night, several hours after being injured in an incident at the Val-St-Côme ski centre in the Lanaudière region.

The six-year-old’s death was confirmed Monday morning by the Sûreté du Québec. The provincial force has opened an investigation into the incident, which occurred around 9:30 a.m. and apparently while the girl was using a T-bar to ascend the hill.

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The child’s condition was declared serious when she was being transported to hospital. The ski hill shut down its nighttime skiing operation Sunday to allow employees deal with the tragedy.

The Val-St-Côme ski centre is about 65 kilometres northwest of Joliette.

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Quebec must build more affordable student housing, Québec solidaire says

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Quebec must build more affordable student housing, Québec solidaire says

The QS housing critic says eight per cent of the student population lived in campus residences; 62 per cent made less than $20,000 annually.

QS housing critic Andrés Fontecilla mentioned problems encountered by students including inflated rents, illegal rental deposits and unsanitary living conditions.
QS housing critic Andrés Fontecilla mentioned problems encountered by students including inflated rents, illegal rental deposits and unsanitary living conditions. Photo by Dave Sidaway /Montreal Gazette

Québec solidaire is calling upon the Legault government to build more student housing in an effort to deal with the lack of affordable units on the local rental market.

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QS housing critic Andrés Fontecilla noted that the housing crisis is hitting the student population hard and is worried they might give up or curtail their studies because of it. The MNA added that only eight per cent of the student population lived in campus residences and 62 per cent of that population made less than $20,000 annually.

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The opposition party is proposing that tax breaks offered for the construction of university housing be expanded to all forms of post-secondary student housing including CEGEPs, a move Fontecilla said would favour the rapid development of the student housing market.

The MNA cited the example of Sherbrooke, which has two universities and two colleges and where the costs for local housing have exploded while the vacancy rate plummeted. He also mentioned the problems encountered by students attending classes in the Saguenay region, who must contend with inflated rents, illegal rental deposits and unsanitary living conditions.

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Allison Hanes: A blind eye has been turned to Île-aux-Tourtes nightmare

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Allison Hanes: A blind eye has been turned to Île-aux-Tourtes nightmare

The capacity of the heavily used bridge on the western tip of the island of Montreal was quietly reduced before Christmas, triggering traffic hell. Where are the contingency plans?

Cars are diverted away from the Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge in May 2021 because of emergency repairs. It seems like a double standard that all the stops have been pulled out to help some commuters while others have been ignored or forgotten, Allison Hanes writes.
Cars are diverted away from the Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge in May 2021 because of emergency repairs. It seems like a double standard that all the stops have been pulled out to help some commuters while others have been ignored or forgotten, Allison Hanes writes. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette

Since half of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel was unexpectedly closed for major repairs last fall, no effort has been spared to lessen the blow of the traffic nightmare.

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Shuttles were organized, free métro tickets were distributed, regular transit service was boosted, reserved bus lanes were prolonged, a pilot project was launched to compensate carpool drivers, and a special bus was set up to deliver health workers who live on the South Shore to the doorsteps of several Montreal hospitals.

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Everyone from Premier François Legault to Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier offered reassurances they were on the case. Round-the-clock media coverage, including the frequent presence of the TVA news chopper hovering overhead, held them to it.

Once used by 120,000 vehicles a day, La Fontaine Tunnel is a critical link between Montreal and the South Shore, so the steps taken to blunt the effect of this debacle are necessary and welcome.

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In contrast, it’s been crickets since capacity on the heavily used Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge in the West Island was quietly reduced before Christmas. Transport Quebec issued another one of its infamous “oh, and by the way” traffic advisories on Dec. 17 the span would be reduced indefinitely to two lanes in each direction because of emergency repairs, effective Dec. 20.

It was only once the holidays ended and everyone went back to school or work that the grim consequences caught up with West Island and off-island residents. People are spending hours a day in traffic. Trips over the bridge take three times as long in rush hour. Access roads on both sides are gridlocked. Getting in and out of John Abbott College, whether by bus or car, has become a special kind of hell. People are venting their misery on social media.

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But the worst part is there’s no end in sight. The aging Île-aux-Tourtes, which was built in 1965, is overdue for replacement. Construction of a new bridge is supposed to start by 2026. But as usual, the Quebec government waited too long and the old link is in such bad shape it needs major repairs to keep it standing until the new structure is ready, hopefully around 2029.

The Transport Ministry admitted last week to the 1019 Report, a local newspaper, the old link will likely never fully reopen for what remains of its functional life. The best commuters can hope for is a reversible extra lane at peak hours down the road.

So forget the three-year headache faced by South Shore commuters who use La Fontaine Tunnel — Île-aux-Tourtes users are looking at a migraine that will last double that time (if they’re lucky).

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Yet there hadn’t been a peep about mitigation measures or contingency plans — until Friday, when Transport Quebec announced it would be installing reserved lanes for buses and emergency vehicles on the approaches to the bridge along Highway 40 in Vaudreuil and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, though not on the structure itself.

Local mayors in off-island communities have been inundated with complaints, but they were caught off guard just as much as their residents. A meeting with Guilbault and local MNA Marilyne Picard has finally been set up for Tuesday. But clearly a backup plan for a bridge crossed by 87,000 cars, buses, ambulances and transport trucks a day is an afterthought.

It’s not like authorities have to reinvent the wheel. They just have to whip out their playbook from May and June 2021, when an error by a contractor involved in maintaining the Île-aux-Tourtes led to its complete emergency shutdown for several weeks. Additional train departures were added on the Exo commuter rail lines and bus service was bolstered.

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Where are the extra trains now? Where are the shuttle buses to John Abbott? Where are the carpool initiatives and the free transit tickets? It seems like a double standard that all the stops have been pulled out to help some commuters while others have been ignored or forgotten.

Not only might such measures ease the frustration of motorists stuck in this congestion, they could nudge people toward adopting public transportation over the long haul — and at a time when transit agencies are seeking to recoup ridership and revenue that fell off during the pandemic.

But the bigger question is: Why does Quebec continually fail to learn from its mistakes? How much extra time, money and aggravation was wasted propping up the old Champlain Bridge before the new span was built? Why must history repeat itself with La Fontaine Tunnel and the Île-aux-Tourtes?

Montreal is a city on an island, after all, with the metropolitan area connected to other communities by no fewer than 12 links, half of which were constructed before 1975.

Transport Quebec not only has a duty to keep them from crumbling, it must keep them operating at full capacity.

ahanes@postmedia.com

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Delean: Stocks moved to a TFSA are treated by the tax man as a disposition

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Delean: Stocks moved to a TFSA are treated by the tax man as a disposition

Also: Retired reader no longer covered by employer health insurance plan asks how to join RAMQ.

You lose the dividend tax credit on Canadian stocks when you move them into a TFSA, columnist Paul Delean tells reader this week.
You lose the dividend tax credit on Canadian stocks when you move them into a TFSA, columnist Paul Delean tells reader this week. Photo by Mark Blinch /REUTERS, File

Moving stocks to a tax-free savings account (TFSA) and paying for the Quebec Prescription Drug Plan were among the topics raised recently by readers. Here’s what they wanted to know.

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Q: I have dividend stocks in an unregistered investment account that I would like, if possible, to move to my TFSA to reduce the tax bite. Can that be done and, if so, are there tax consequences?

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A: It can be done, provided you have the contribution room in your TFSA, but there are a couple of things you need to consider. The transfer from an unregistered account to a TFSA is treated as a disposition, even when you don’t sell the stock. If it has gone up in value, a taxable capital gain will be triggered when you transfer, based on the fair market value at the time. If the stock has depreciated, however, you cannot claim a capital loss on your taxes. You also will lose the dividend tax credit on Canadian stocks when you move them into a TFSA. Dividends from American stocks in a TFSA are reduced by a non-recoverable withholding tax of 15 per cent (which is not the case when they’re in an RRSP). The amount contributed to the TFSA when you transfer in stocks is their actual market value.

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Q: I retired recently and, as a result, am no longer covered by a group (health) insurance plan. I recall a line on the provincial tax form that asks for payment if you do not have health coverage. Seeing as I was covered for all of 2022, I don’t imagine I have to pay that, for me or my wife. How do we join the provincial plan (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec)? And when do I pay up?

A: Quebec adults not covered by employer health insurance plans must adhere to RAMQ. It’s done automatically when you turn 65. If you’re younger, you need to apply. Payment for the past year is done when you complete Schedule K of your provincial income-tax return (Premium payable under the Quebec prescription drug insurance plan). The fee is determined by income and can go as high as $710 per person. You’ll be exempted from the fee for any months in 2022 that you and your spouse were covered by a private health plan; in your case, that would be all of 2022. So you’ll start paying for the public plan when you complete your provincial tax returns next year.

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Q: My spouse and I live here but worked in Belgium for 13 years. I received my Belgian pension at 65, but she waited until age 72 to receive it. In such cases, Belgium pays the pension retroactively. For her Canadian income tax, does that get reported as a lump sum, or will it require amending tax returns going back seven years?

A: In the Canadian tax system, pension benefits generally are declared, and taxed, in the year they’re received. This applies to benefits from a foreign pension plan, unless the amount, or a portion thereof, is exempted by a tax treaty. Foreign pensions are declared, in Canadian dollars, on Line 11500 of the federal return and 122 of the provincial one. A deduction, when applicable (as is the case for Belgian pension payments), can be taken on line 25600 of the federal return and line 297 of the provincial. Under the Canada-Belgium tax agreement, pension benefits paid to Quebecers from previous employment in Belgium are taxed only in Belgium. You are required to file a Belgian tax declaration.

The Montreal Gazette invites reader questions on tax, investment and personal finance matters. If you have a query, please send it by email to Paul Delean at gazpersonalfinance@hotmail.com.

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